Psalm 78:40-43 burns in my heart! "How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, and grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: the day when He redeemed them from the enemy, when He worked His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Zoan."
They limited the Holy One of Israel because they did not remember His power! Amazing! How could they forget the miraculous walk across the bed of the Red Sea as they walked out of bondage? I can imagine as they walked they were saying, "I'll never forget this!"
Does that sound familiar? How many times have we forgotten how God has delivered us? God understands man and his ways. In the Old Testament He continually reminded them to build memorials so they would remember the faithfulness of God.
In Isaiah 43:26 He tells us, "Put Me in remembrance. ..." God doesn't forget! This was for our benefit to help us remember.
Paul tells us in Philippians 4:12-13: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (NIV).
The key word here is "learned." Paul learned as he walked through life just like you and me. Paul wrote this letter while he was in prison.
The central thought is simple: Only in Christ can we find unity and joy in our lives. This was a message the Philippians desperately needed to hear. The people of the church were at odds with each other, hindering the work in proclaiming new life in Christ. Paul was writing to thank them for their help in his time of need and used the opportunity to put them in remembrance of the real purpose in life.
Paul shares his secret of being content in chapter 3, verses 13-14: "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (NKJV).
This really caught my attention: "One thing I do." This had to be important! Forgetting those things which are behind. "God," I cried, "how do I do this? The devil is always reminding me of my past failures and mistakes."
He immediately answered my cry, "Remember." "Remember?" I questioned, as I pondered this in my heart. "When you remember, you are choosing your thoughts," He revealed to me. Then I understood. When you choose your thoughts, the devil cannot fill your head with his thoughts.
Your mind is the battlefield. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (NIV). How do you take a thought captive? You replace it with another thought! If you are not choosing your thoughts, the devil is going to take advantage of you and fill your mind with condemnation and guilt.
Your memory is designed by God as a tool to keep the devil away! Psalm 37:3 says, "Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness" (NKJV). Remember the faithfulness of God. This leads you to a heart of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving turns your heart to God and prepares the way for your miracle. Thanksgiving is the voice of faith!
Purpose to remember! Just like Paul, we must forget the past and press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus by remembering His faithfulness.
As a child of God, you also have a Helper, the Holy Spirit. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you" (John 14:26).
Joyce Tilney, is the Founder of Women of God Ministries, teaching women today from women of yesterday. She is an author and conference teacher gathering Women with Purpose for His Purpose. For more information visit: www.wogministries.com. She is also the author of, Why Diets Don't Work—Food Is Not the Problem, sharing the battle plan the Lord gave her that worked 88 pounds from her body! Visit: www.whydiets.com to learn the secret of breaking the cycle of obesity.
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